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Lewes History Museum                                         101 Adams Avenue                                          Lewes, DE 19958

Lewes History Museum 101 Adams Avenue Lewes, DE 19958

Lewes History Museum

101 Adams Avenue

Lewes, DE 19958

(302) 645-7670

https://www.historiclewes.org/

Open: Sunday Closed/Monday-Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm

Admission: $5.00 plus entrance to the Cannonball House Museum in addition

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g34028-d17640472-Reviews-Lewes_History_Museum-Lewes_Delaware.html

Lewes Historical Society:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g34028-d552705-Reviews-Lewes_Historical_Society-Lewes_Delaware.html

The Lewes History Museum

A video on “Historic Lewes, DE”

When I was visiting Rehoboth Beach, DE recently the museum I had wanted to visit in Rehoboth was closed for the day, so I remembered that there were a few museums in Lewes, DE, a small town right down the highway so I headed there and found the Lewes History Museum at 101 Adams Avenue. The museum was the old library which has since moved across the street.

The museum is very interesting and well set up. The museum is one big room that is broken down in different sections which helps explain the history of the town. Each display moves you through the museum in a chorological order of how the town developed.

The museum starts with a display on early Native American history which then moves to the colonization of the Dutch and British in the area. There are all sorts of interesting artifacts that tell the story of the Revolutionary War by way of the residents.

There are displays on the way homes were designed and decorated as well as the role that Lewes played during the war. There have been a lot of soldiers who had died in the war with their stories being told by the museum. There are also discussions about the interaction between the Native population with the colonists.

The Lewes History Museum’s displays are informative

There is a section on the development of businesses and Lewes as a resort town. The section on Lewes developing as a resort town was interesting with the advent of ocean swimming, boating and beach recreation.

Boating and sailing in Lewes, DE

There was an interesting display on Victorian furniture and decorating for the home. There were also all types of home furnishing items when setting up house during the Victorian Age.

There was a detailed display on the Beebe family and the growth of their well-known hospital. The family started with three beds in a home to the giant hospital that it is today. You can read about the family members contributions both to the hospital and the community.

The museum will take about an hour to comfortably walk through.

The History of the Lewes History Museum:

(From the Museum website):

The Lewes History Museum is located in the Margarat H. Rollins Community Center at 101 Adams Avenue in Lewes, DE. For 54 years, The Lewes Historical Society has collected and preserved tens of thousands of historic artifacts, artwork, documents, maps and photos. Now it the support from the City of Lewes, a gift of $500,000 from the Ma-Ran Foundation and generous donations, this incredible collection is on continuous display at the Lewes History Museum.

The museum serves as the primary source of information about Lewes for visitors, researchers, students and residents. Enjoy ongoing exhibits featuring Lewe’ maritime history, decorative arts and artists, famous families of Lewes and how our region is seen through environmental change. The museum provides ongoing seminars, symposia and presentations along with a wing for community non-profit gatherings.

The popular Children’s Discovery Center is house inside the museum and is currently closed at this time. The Discovery Center offers an interactive, fun and educational experience for children of all ages. At the Center, children can experience 19th century Delaware by interacting in a replica general store and post office, playing around a scaled model of Cape Henlopen Lighthouse with a Morse code station, foghorn and reflecting lights. The Center also houses a Delaware River Pilots’ simulation module, a electronic table-top boat-building area and a lighthouse “keepers cottage”.

The community center is the centerpiece of the cultural campus in Lewes, including 18 miles of trails, a concert stage, parks, a children’s garden and the Lewes Public Library.

Florham Park Historic Preservation Commission/Little Red Schoolhouse & Hancock Cemetery                                                              203 Ridgedale Avenue                                                     Florham Park, NJ 07932

Florham Park Historic Preservation Commission/Little Red Schoolhouse & Hancock Cemetery 203 Ridgedale Avenue Florham Park, NJ 07932

Florham Park Historic Preservation Commission/Little Red Schoolhouse & Hancock Cemetery

203 Ridgedale Avenue

Florham Park, NJ 07932

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Community-Organization/Little-Red-Schoolhouse-438800069660078/

Open: See Website/Seasonal

My review on TripAdvisor:

The Little Red Schoolhouse Museum

I visited the “Little Red Schoolhouse” Museum in Florham Park as part of the Morris County’s “Pathways to History” event that is held every May. This interesting little museum showcases the town’s historical collection of items from the 1800’s and 1900’s dealing with all aspects of town life.

In the back there is a small classroom set up keeping with the theme of the building. This lets students who are visiting the building of their counterpart’s early education with desks, ink wells and chalk boards that have not changed that much over the years.

Not much has changed in the modern classroom over the years

There is early century clothing, farming equipment from the town’s farming past and event Native American objects found in the town and in private collections. Other items included decorative items from the home including dishware, home products and furnishings. Each section of the museum is divided up by lifestyle.

The docents that day explained that the items were reflect the town’s past and some came from families that have been in town for years. The museum reflects the community spirit of town’s past. It explains that times have progressed but not changed too much over the years.

History of the Little Red Schoolhouse Museum:

(From the Museum Website)

By Kat Kurylko, Research Assistant

In 1830, the residents of Columbia, now Florham Park, sought to improve their thriving farming and broom-making community by establishing a public school for the local children. Therefore, a small schoolhouse, Columbia School #5, was built on the corner of Columbia Turnpike and Ridgedale Avenue and dedicated it on February 17th, 1831. Schooling at the “little red frame building” prospered and so by the 1850’s, the building was “in condition of dilapidation rendering it unfit to be occupied” due to overcrowding.

On March 1st, 1867, nearly 50 children attended their first class in a new one-room brick schoolhouse. The use of brick added prestige but great expense to the project, accounting for nearly half of the budget. The new building was designed based on principles found in Henry Barnard’s book, “School House Architecture. Much like Thomas Kirkbride’s progressive hospital designs (illustrated locally at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital), Barnard’s method School attendance continued to grow and by 1914, a four-room annex building, which could accommodate 78 students was built on the school’s property and the earlier brick building served as an auditorium. Eventually, the community outgrew both buildings and in 1934, the borough’s current middle school was constructed.

Founded in the 1930’s to preserve the “Little Red Schoolhouse”, the Historical Society of Florham Park now operates the building as a museum. A source of great pride for the local community, the building stands in nearly the same location on the corner of Columbia Turnpike and Ridgedale Avenue, although moved back to accommodate the expansion of Columbia Turnpike. Listed on the NJ and National Registers of Historic Places since the early 1970’s, today the building serves as a reminder of the community’s rural roots.

The “Little Red Schoolhouse” Museum in Florham Park, NJ.

(From the Morris County site):

The Little Red Schoolhouse & Museum:

Florham’s Park’s iconic Little Red Schoolhouse was built in 1866 at a cost $2,250. Its open belfry and gable-end entrance instantly identify it as a typical 19th century one-room schoolhouse. The Italianate one-story narrow red brick masonry building is an architectural marvel with its steep roof, tall windows and elaborate arches.

Inside, part of the museum is set up as a 19th century classroom, where small groups can enjoy a lecture. The museum has a variety of artifacts from the 1800’s and 1900’s, vintage school desks and broom-making equipment. Its location at the historic crossroads of Florham Park has remained a key reminder of the borough’s rural origins. The schoolhouse is a stop each fall on the free “Pathways of History” event (which I was on that day I visited).

Of Special Note:

*In 1978, the schoolhouse was moved back several yards to accommodate the expanded Columbia Turnpike.

*The schoolhouse is also known as Columbia School District Number 5 Schoolhouse.

*The schoolhouse is the borough’s icon, appearing on the town flag, letter head, website and public works and first responder vehicles.

First Shearith Israel Graveyard/Chatham Square Cemetery                                            55-57 St. James Place                                  New York, 10038

First Shearith Israel Graveyard/Chatham Square Cemetery 55-57 St. James Place New York, 10038

First Shearith Israel Graveyard/Chatham Square Cemetery

55-57 St. James Place

New York, NY 10038

(212) 873-0300

https://shearithisrael.org/content/chatham-square-cemetery

Open: 24 Hours

Fee: Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

There are times that I walk around Manhattan and things just pop out at you. Tucked inside small pockets of the City are small community gardens, detailed statues, street art and sometimes a small cemetery. I had passed the First Shearith Israel Graveyard or also known as the Chatham Square Cemetery many times when visiting Chinatown since I was a kid. This tiny elevated pocket square of land is located next to a building and locked behind a gate just off St. James Place right at the end of Mott Street strip of Chinatown.

Chatham Square Cemetery

You really have to look for this at the side of 55-57 St. James Place

This is the oldest Jewish Cemetery in Manhattan that was in use from 1683 to 1833. The site of the cemetery was originally on a hill overlooking the East River in an open area at the northern periphery of the British-Dutch colonial settlement. The plot was purchased in 1682 by Joseph Bueno de Mesquita and the cemetery’s first interment was for his relative, Benjamin Bueno de Mesquita. The cemetery expanded in the 1700’s from Chatham Square to the upper part of Oliver Street to Madison Avenue (Wiki).

The original map of the Dutch Colony (New York Historical Society)

In 1823, a City ordinance prohibited burials south of Canal Street and the congregation opened a second burial spot at West 11th Street. A third cemetery was opened at 21st Street west of Sixth Avenue. The size of the cemetery has been reduced over the years because of development and most of the bodies were removed and moved to the other cemeteries. In 1851, the City again prohibited burials below 86th Street and the congregations again opened a fourth cemetery in Ridgewood, Queens. In 1855, with more development changing the area again and over two hundred graves were removed from the site. Only about hundred remain (Wiki).

Two of the most notable people buried here are Reverend Gershom Mendes Seixas (1745-1816), the first American born Jewish spiritual leader and Dr. Walter Jonas Judah, the second person of the Jewish faith to attend an American Medical School (now Columbia University) and the first native born one. (Wiki). There are also 18 Jewish Revolutionary War era veterans and patriots buried here.

History of the Jewish Settlement in Dutch New York:

In September of 1654, just after the Jewish New Year, twenty-three Jews, mostly of Spanish and Portuguese origin arrived in Manhattan. These people had been living in Recife, the former capital of the 17th Century Dutch Brazil. When the Portuguese defeated the Dutch for control of Recife and brought with them the Inquisition, the Jews of that area left. Some returned to Amsterdam, where they had originated and others moved around the Caribbean to other islands. These twenty-three arrived in New York due a series of unseen events (Big Apple Secrets).

Governor Peter Stuyvesant did not want to permit them to stay but these settlers fought for their rights and won permission to remain. In 1655, the Jewish settlers applied to the Dutch authorities for permission to purchase a parcel of land as an exclusive place to bury their dead. In February of 1656, appealed “that consent may be given” for the purchase. In 1644, the British took New Amsterdam and renamed it New York and the Jews were granted more civil rights. In 1706, they had organized their own congregation, Shearith Israel (Big Apple Secrets).

The cemetery for the most part is pad locked but you can view the outside from the street level. The cemetery is open on Memorial Day for services to the members of the armed services but for the most part you have to view the cemetery from the street level.

Chatham Square Cemetery

The plaque that you can see at eye level just inside the cemetery.

This unique plot of land is easy to miss so look for the plaque at eye level as you pass it.

Castle Williams                                           Governors Island                                                 New York, NY 10004

Castle Williams Governors Island New York, NY 10004

Castle Williams

Governors Island

New York, NY 10004

(212) 825-3054

Open: Check the website. It varies by season

https://www.nps.gov/gois/learn/historyculture/castle-williams.htm

https://www.nps.gov/gois/planyourvisit/explore-castle-williams.htm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d6952984-Reviews-Castle_Williams-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

My trip to Governors Island on MywalkinManhattan.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/mywalkinmanhattan.com/7658

I have toured Castle Williams several times when visiting Governors Island over the last two years. The fort sits at a strategic site on the island facing Manhattan. The fort was originally built to protect New York City from the British during the War of 1812. The British knowing that the City had been fortified for battle never attacked New York.

The tour takes place twice a day for about an hour and you tour the first two levels of the fort. There are all sorts of signs around to show the history of the fort and its uses over the years. The one thing they don’t like is you touching the walls as the fort is still pretty fragile.

The nicest part of the tour is the observation deck at the top of the fort and the views of the Lower Manhattan skyline. It is a spectacular view of the harbor. You can see by the view why the fort was built where it was built and for its purpose before the War of 1812.

It really is a treat to see how fortifications mattered for cities in this time of history in this country.

The History of Castle Williams:

Castle Williams as you walk to the front

Castle Williams is a circular defensive work of red sandstone on the west point of Governors Island in New York Harbor. It was designed and erected between 1807 and 1811. It was designed by the Chief Engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lieutenant Colonial Jonathan Williams for whom the fort was named after. It was considered a prototype for new forms of coastal fortification.

The castle was one component of a larger defensive system for the inner harbor that included Fort Jay and the South Battery on Governors Island, Castle Clinton at the tip of Manhattan, Fort Gibson at Ellis Island and Fort Wood, which is now the base of the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island. This system of forts came to be known as the Second American System of coastal defense and existed to protect harbors like the one in New York from British interference with American Shipping.

Castle Williams from the Harbor

Its usefulness as a fort began to end in the 1830’s, so Castle Williams subsequently served as barracks for the island’s garrison and new and transient troops. The castle was then remodeled by the U.S. Army for use as a prison in various forms during the Civil War and through the first half of the 20th Century.

The outside of Castle Williams from the lawn

In 1901, Secretary of War Elihu Root, who worked hard to modernize the Army, made a commitment to preserve the castle and overruled army leaders who wanted to demolish both it and Fort Jay. By 1903, the castle was fitted up as a model, state of art prison facility. In 1947, extensive renovations were carried out with the wooden catwalks replaced by concrete enclosed walk ways, hiding the beautiful stone arches on the third level and resulting in the industrial appearance of the courtyard today. Castle Williams ceased operations as a military prison in 1965 just before the U.S. Army left Governors Island.

The Castle again faced a demolition challenge as Coast Guard officials in Washington DC, who took control of Governors Island in 1966, wanted to demolish it. Instead, the castle was remodeled as a youth community center with a nursery, meeting rooms for Scouts and clubs, a woodworking shop, art studios, a photography laboratory and a museum. By the late 1970’s, the community center moved to another location and the fort became the grounds-keeping shop for the Coast Guard base.

The inside of Castle Williams during the tour of the Castle

Over time, the roof failed and broken windows allowed serious water damage to occur inside the castle. In the mid-1990s, the roof was replaced and new windows stopped further water damage to the structure but the interior remains closed until it can be made safe for public access. The National Park Service proposes to stabilize and restore the castle and eventually provide access to the roof, allowing the public to admire the harbor and the modern skyline of the great city (this has since opened on my last visit).

Governors Island with a view on Lower Manhattan

Castle Williams was individually listed in the National Register of Historic Placed on July 31, 1972. It was recorded by the Historical American Buildings Survey in 1983. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985 and the New York City Landmarks Historic District in 1996. It has been part of the Governors Island National Monument by Presidential Proclamations signed in 2001 and 2003.

(This information was provided by the National Park System Division of Cultural Affairs).

Governors Island Park (the fort is to your top right)

The Castle has since opened for tourists and touring since my last visit in the summer of 2019.